Archive for the 'Phones' Category

Make Your Own QR Codes

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

QR CodeQR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that are becoming popular here in the United States. They can contain text, web links, calendar events, vCard addresses, and much more. Some people even put them on their gravestones! You scan them with your smartphone to pull up the desired information.

The linked website allows you to create custom QR codes. Josh, a friend of Chad’s News, suggests making one that contains your vCard data and then setting that image as the lock screen for your smartphone. Should you lose your phone, your contact details are right there for anyone who finds it and wants to return it.


It’s Spring Forward, Fall Back

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Apple LogoWith last weekend’s switch to daylight saving time in the United States, many iPhones moved back an hour instead of forward. The glitch hit all of Verizon’s and some of AT&T’s iPhones. It can be fixed by restarting the phone or switching it to and from airplane mode.

(via The Daily Caller)

iOS 4.3 Adds Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot Feature To iPhone

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Apple LogoThe latest release of Apple’s iOS (version 4.3) now makes your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect to the internet via the phone. Your plan must include data tethering in order for this feature to work.

Thanks to Josh for this topic.


What is Near Field Communication and Why Should I Care?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

PhoneNear field communication (NFC) is a wireless technology limited to distances of a few inches. It has the potential to add a whole new paradigm to cell phone use, potentially replacing credit/debit cards and smart cards, or allowing the phone to process tickets or coupons. Expect NFC to be included in the next cell phone you purchase.


Farewell Silverlight, We Hardly Knew Thee

Monday, February 7th, 2011

MicrosoftMicrosoft appears to be abandoning its Silverlight technology in favor of HTML5. Silverlight was Redmond’s attempt to compete with Adobe Flash. All is not lost, however, as it still appears that Silverlight will remain a platform of choice for developing apps on Windows Phone 7 devices.


Verizon Offering iPhone

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

PhoneBreaking AT&T’s monopoly on the iPhone in the United States, Verizon is now taking pre-orders for the iPhone, with service to start on February 10th. Phone prices are as low as $200 when you commit to a two-year service contract, and they’re offering an unlimited data plan for $30/month. Ars Technica has an informative article with answers to common questions. (And no, you can’t use your current AT&T iPhone with the Verizon service.)


The “Cloud” Makes Small Steps Towards Ubiquity

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The CloudMany past efforts to promote cloud computing have failed miserably, but it’s become more popular over the last few years, even here at Chad’s News. The linked articles detail two more steps in the long road towards universal acceptance. The first is Neverware, a way to run a powerful Windows system from a low-end computer. The second is Google’s cloud print, which allows a user to print a document from portable devices such as smartphones.

Thanks to Josh for the cloud print link.

Link #1 (Neverware):…
(via Kim Komando)

Link #2 (cloud print):…

Old-style Phone Numbers

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

PhoneI’m not quite old enough to remember when phone numbers were something like “WHItehall 1212”, but I’ve seen references to that nomenclature in older movies and books. I do, however, remember only needing to dial the last 5 digits (e.g., 6-4085 versus 856-4085) after moving to Wyoming in 1976. How things have changed in a few short decades—these days I have to dial the full 10 digits because Denver has two area codes. For those like myself who are curious about these types of things, the linked article explains the older numbering system and its history.

(via Neatorama)

Opt Out of the Yellow Pages

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Recycle LogoThe linked article allows you to opt out of receiving the yellow pages. It lists the various distributors for your ZIP code, and in most cases you can opt out online. I hardly ever use the yellow pages anymore, thanks to the internet, and it’s ridiculous to take them from the doorstep and just throw them into the recycle bin.

(via Kim Komando)

Update: The original link no longer works, so use this one instead.

Say Hello to Windows Phone 7

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

PhoneWindows Phone 7 is Microsoft’s latest entry in the mobile device operating system arena, and it’s a “dramatic departure” from their previous offerings. They hope to be competitive against Android phones, iPhones, and Blackberries. The linked article is fairly optimistic about this being the case, but TechRepublic’s Justin James has a completely different opinion.

(via Kim Komando)

Text Messaging Via Email, Revisited

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

EmailThe Chad’s News phone network still uses one of those ancient plans where you pay 20¢ for each text message sent or received. Fortunately it’s possible to save some money by sending text messages via email. (Long-time Chad’s News readers will remember this post, where provided a single source for emailing text messages—but they’ve gone out of business.) The process is fairly straightforward, although it requires you to know the recipient’s cell provider. Here are the specifics for several major carriers (replace “number” with the actual 10-digit phone number).


The linked articles have more detail, including additional ways to send texts (AIM anyone?). And remember that Chad’s News is a proud Verizon customer.

Link #1:…
(via The Consumerist)

Link #2:…

Cell Phone Privacy Doesn’t Exist – Get Used To It

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Wireless TowerHere at Chad’s News, we’ve previously written about the lack of internet privacy and wireless security. Now we can extend that realm to include cell phones, especially ones that use GSM. At last month’s DEF CON convention, security researcher Chris Paget demonstrated a home-brewed cell phone tower setup that was able to easily intercept calls from members of the audience. The total cost of the hardware was about $1500.

This type of equipment, known as an IMSI catcher, has been available to law enforcement for years, but at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

(via engadget)